I had visions of a beautiful Family Home Evening that happened once when I'd been home after college. Our lesson turned into a testimony meeting, the Spirit was strong as we shared our feelings about the Gospel and I felt so close to them. These 9 wonderful siblings of mine were all grow'd up and my parents' testimonies resonated deeper. Time gets away from us so quickly! I long to hear about the experiences that are shaping their souls, to know them deeper than our goings on because I love them so much. And now we have so many new spouses in the Bare Bunch that I want to know better too!
So we did it yesterday, complete with Mom getting out the calendar for graduation dates this spring!
We prayed, sang Popcorn Popping, everyone shared a happy moment from their week. Sure there were technical difficulties here and there and I'm not good at leading meetings, but the end result was just what I had hoped. Sharing of testimonies happened and hearts were touched.
Our lesson was from the Preach My Gospel manual - God is our loving Heavenly Father. I had felt impressed earlier in the week to ask my dad and my brother-in-law to share part of their conversion stories pertaining to this. It was wonderful, simply wonderful. My brother-in-law was first and I have to say he made my day and my tear ducts go to work! I haven't gotten to know him very well yet but knew from my sister who married him and my parents, how much he loves the gospel. I only know the gregarious guy who adores my sister and it was so lovely to see into his soul. It makes me so happy for Brooks, like teary happy! All day long today!
John spoke of the warmth of Heavenly Father's love he was encompassed in as he was taught by the missionaries at age 12. How he felt that warmth as he continued on the gospel path through baptism, going to the temple, serving a mission, and being married in the temple to my sister. His heart was so soft, like a big teddy bear and I just wanted to hug him!
Dad's testimony was wonderful, he can always get me to cry! My dad joined the church in his early twenties after investigating other faiths and dating my mom who was LDS. He talked about an experience during this time with his brother on a motorcycle and pleading prayers to Heavenly Father for their safety and that they wouldn't be pulled over by the police because of the likely consequences. "But, sure enough . . ." they were stopped by a cop. But that cop happened to be an old high school buddy of the brother's and was able to sternly warn him of the gravity of his poor choices like probably no one else could have. My Dad's testimony of our loving Heavenly Father has grown through experiences where he's put the doctrines, commandments, and principles of the gospel into practice and seen them bear fruit.
My testimony was of our Heavenly Father's greatest gift - his Only Begotten Son who paid the price for our sins, conquered death and allows us to return to our loving Heavenly Father. I shared how just that morning McKay had hopped back into the van unasked to let Morgan out of her car seat when she hollered at being left. Because he loved her. Morgan was stuck and her older brother came to her rescue so she could go home just as our Savior did for us. We are so blessed to be so loved.
And then we sang "I Lived in Heaven" and I cried some more as my boys, my nieces' and nephew's voices sang out. I'm sorry, but it just couldn't be beat - I'm still on a high days later! But wait, Dad had an activity! Get a balloon, stand on one foot and you must keep the balloon in the air with just one hand! Catch 20 people doing that at once on Skype and you've got quite a show!
Thanks everyone for being such great sports with my scheme!!!